Photo courtesy of SYSO
SYSO musician mentors a Southwest Seattle student as they prepare to perform together on the Chief Sealth High School stage.

REMINDER 'Super String Saturday' brings together gifted student musicians with pro mentors

Free public performance will be followed by instrument technique clinics and more

information from Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra
On Saturday January 25 from 10 a.m.- 1 p.m. a free community event, Southwest Seattle Super String Saturday at Chief Sealth International High School, kicks off with an inspiring performance by one of America’s premier youth orchestras, the Seattle Youth Symphony. Following the performance, young violin, viola, cello and bass players from Southwest Seattle schools fill Chief Sealth High School with the sound of their hard work and dedication. This event celebrates the elementary and middle school string players who are receiving coaching by professional musicians hired by the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestras.

City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen and King County Councilmember Joe McDermott will be on hand to welcome the Southwest Seattle musicians and their families to the event.

The free public performance by Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra features Serge Prokofiev's powerful ballet score for Romeo and Juliet – a work that has become one of the most revered orchestral scores composed for dance. The mini-concert continues with a Carl Maria von Weber's Overture to the Der Freischutz, a Romantic era opera inspired by German folk music.

After the public concert, violin, viola, cello and bass students from Southwest elementary schools (Concord, Roxhill, Sanislo, Arbor Heights, West Seattle and Highland Park) and Denny International Middle School participate in an array of activities including instrument technique clinics led by top-level Youth Symphony musicians and SYSO coaches and learning how to play in a chamber music ensemble. Then the excitement builds as the string students join the Youth Symphony musicians on stage and are mentored by their high school-aged musical counterparts. All the musicians play “side-by-side” in this large orchestral setting, with the younger students inspired by the level of performance demonstrated by their older peers. This is an event for the entire family and includes an “instrument petting zoo” organized by the West Seattle Community

Orchestras introducing younger children to string instruments, and SYSO coaches and school music teachers on hand to discuss how parents can support their child’s musical learning. Refreshments and resources are also available.

This event showcases Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestras’ Southwest Seattle String Project, an initiative that provides professional musician “coaches” to work alongside public school music teachers and lead small group and individualized instruction. This service is provided by SYSO at no cost to the schools or the families because SYSO is committed to enabling equitable access to arts education, especially in areas which historically have had lower participation rates in instrumental music due to economic barriers.

The program goes beyond supporting school-day instruction to offer free before school lessons each week at every Southwest Seattle elementary school as well as additional coaching through a partnership West Seattle
Community Orchestras. The outcomes are that SYSO coaching triples the lesson time for students and has led to a 300% increase in orchestra enrollment at Denny International Middle School in just the last four years.
The music heard at Southwest Seattle Super String Saturday is evidence that this partnership has increased students’ levels of musicianship and helps students develop other important life skills. As one Southwest Seattle principal has reported, “When I see [instrumental performances, I see a sense of pride, demonstration of skills, value of practice, sequencing, growth over time, and taking risks. During performances you can get a sense of that cumulative impact.” SYSO invites the community to share in this sense of pride for Southwest Seattle string musicians.

SYSO provides this program free to the Southwest Seattle public schools because of generous support from national and local funders. In fact, last month Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestras was one of just twenty-three American orchestras selected by the League of American Orchestras to receive a 2013-14 Getty Education and Community Investment Grant specifically to fund SYSO’s school programs. Additional significant support is provided by The Clowes Fund, Inc., Washington Women’s Foundation, Washington State Arts Commission, National Endowment for the Arts, and Real Networks Foundation. Individual contributions are also an important

source of support. To learn more about how to donate to SYSO’s school programs, contact For information about the Southwest Seattle Super String Saturday event, please contact Kathleen Allen, Director of Education, Communications and Partnerships at .

About SYSO

Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestras (SYSO) has a tradition of life-changing excellence and innovation. Founded in 1942, SYSO is the largest youth orchestra organization in the nation, providing direct instruction to over nearly 1,700 students annually through four full orchestras, two summer programs (Marrowstone Music Festival and Marrowstone-in-the-City), and partnerships with local public schools. SYSO’s flagship orchestra, the Seattle Youth Symphony, is one of the premier youth orchestras in the U.S. Made up of the finest young classical musicians in the region, the Seattle Youth Symphony regularly delivers professional-caliber performances filled with the unrivaled energy and passion of youthful artistry. Internationally recognized guest conductors and soloists frequently perform with the orchestra, and members receive regular coaching lessons with distinguished artists from the Seattle Symphony and other regional orchestras and ensembles.

Who: Young string musicians of Concord, Roxhill, Sanislo, Arbor Heights, West Seattle and Highland Park elementary schools and Denny International Middle School and SYSO’s Youth Symphony Orchestra.
What: Performances by the Seattle Youth Symphony, SYSO Scholarship Chamber Ensembles, Southwest Seattle string students, and resources and activities for families and the community.

When: Saturday, January 25, 2014 from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Where: Chief Sealth International High School Auditorium 2600 SW Thistle Street, Seattle WA.
Price: Free
Ticket Purchasing: No tickets necessary, free community event

For more information please call Kathleen Allen at (206) 362-2300.

We encourage our readers to comment. No registration is required. We ask that you keep your comments free of profanity and keep them civil. They are moderated and objectionable comments will be removed.